Soundwaves used to levitate small objects
Soundwaves can be used to levitate and move small objects, scientists have shown.
Acoustic levitation has numerous potential applications ranging from materials processing to biochemistry, according to the Swiss team.
The technique uses pressure waves between an emitting surface and reflector to cancel out gravity.
Objects trapped in stable regions of the energy field called nodes can be lifted and moved around with precision. In tests the scientists levitated liquid droplets, and also a toothpick.
Professor Dimos Poulikakos, from the Laboratory of Thermodynamics in Emerging Technologies in Zurich, led the research reported in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'.